Gender differences in use of prayer as a self-care strategy for managing symptoms in African Americans living with HIV/AIDS

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2006 Jul-Aug;17(4):16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2006.05.005.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to explore the association of gender to use of prayer as a self-care strategy for managing the HIV-related symptoms of fatigue, nausea, depression, and anxiety among African American men and women who are HIV-seropositive. To accomplish this, data were determined using convenience sampling from a sample of 448 African American men and women from the United States who were participants in a national study on self-care symptom management of HIV/AIDS. Chi-square analyses were used to examine the potential relationships between gender and the use of prayer for managing the four symptoms. The mean age of the sample was 42.69 +/- 7.93 years (range, 20-66). Results showed the following gender differences in the use of prayer as a self-care strategy: fatigue-men 46% (n = 62), women 54% (n = 74); nausea-men 52% (n = 33), women 48% (n = 30); depression-men 55% (n = 90), women 45% (n = 73); and anxiety-men 77% (n = 83), women 87% (n = 73). Chi-square analyses determined that significant differences exist between African American men and women in the frequency of the use of prayer for managing HIV-related fatigue (chi(2) = 14.81, 1 df, p = .000), nausea (chi(2) = 4.10, 1 df, p =.043), and depression (chi(2) = 5.21, 1 df, p = .022). There was no gender difference in the use of prayer to manage anxiety. Prayer was reported as a self-care strategy by over 50% of the respondents for three of the four symptoms and was rated highly efficacious. The authors conclude that the African American men and women differed in their selection of prayer as a self-care strategy for managing HIV-related depression, fatigue, and nausea. A higher proportion of women than men used prayer to manage fatigue, and more men than women reported using prayer to manage nausea and depression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Anxiety / virology
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Black or African American / ethnology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Depression / virology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Fatigue / prevention & control
  • Fatigue / virology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Nausea / virology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Religion*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Spirituality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Women / psychology*